I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the primary time in years. And naturally, I intend to present ‘ol Martha a run for her cash. 🤨
Which means I should be extra severe and discerning about the primary ingredient of the preferred dishes – the potatoes.
Till a couple of years in the past (once I initially wrote the story Nice Northern Potatoes for the P+V newspaper), I used to be of the mindset that there have been two forms of potato – candy and not-sweet.
They usually have been white or orange.
What else mattered?
On the time, my grocery retailer alternative was as restricted as my information, and I by no means thought extra about it.
That’s, till I examine a potato ‘faire’ someplace in England the place gardeners wandered from tent to tent in Barbour jackets and wellies with charming paper-wrapped packages of unique seed tubers tucked below their arms.
I’m at all times questioning why we (Individuals) can’t have these types of good issues. I’m at all times jealous.
It’s a few years after that first story and within the month of November as I write this – per week earlier than Thanksgiving. My grocery retailer tater choice has since grown barely, however it’s nonetheless uninspiring.
A fast google seek for ‘potato honest in England’ (with out the additional e) turned up greater than a web page stuffed with upcoming occasions! (I ponder if I’ll discover much more it I am going all English on the spelling…😉 ) I additionally simply re-realized that it’s now (and for a lot of months to come back) potato planting season.
I yam spuddenly full of tots of tubers! So, I believed I’d revisit that unique story.
(created in partnership with Samantha Dion Baker who did all of the illustrations)
Nice Northern Potatoes
There are various extra forms of potatoes that may be grown nationwide – however these are a number of the varieties that may be grown within the Northern USA (and Canada). Should you’re within the south you may have a a lot wider number of candy potato choices and likewise alternatives that may tolerate warmth. In different international locations, you would possibly discover a vary of equally distinct flavors and textures that may swimsuit a variety of potato cooking.
I’m reminded that like apples – potatoes varieties are regionalized and that makes for an ideal alternative to play an element in preservation whereas additionally rising one thing distinctive to your area’s historical past and native tradition.
Listed here are all of the initially featured potatoes – plus a couple of additions:
- Purple pores and skin and darkish pink flesh
- Excessive in antioxidants
- Fairly pink flowers
- Spherical yellow tubers with a blush of pink
- Pest resistance is sweet for natural growers
- Resists sprouting in storage
- Holds form when cooked making an ideal alternative for salads
- Comfortable moist flesh is ideal for au gratin recipes and sautéing.
- The blue pigment shields tubers from extremely violet gentle at excessive altitudes.
- Blue-fleshed potatoes, like kale and spinach, are excessive in nutritional vitamins and antioxidants.
- King Harry is a spherical white Irish potato
- Bred at Cornell College
- Hairs on plant stems deter bugs
Enjoyable Truth: Irish potatoes should not Irish – they’re a kind of white potato from the Andes of South America (the place potatoes are native) that was dropped at Europe within the 1500’s and that are additionally related to the notorious potato-disease famine in Eire.
- Brilliant yellow fleshed German potato
- Dependable and prolific producer
- Easy and creamy with good taste
- White Flowers
- Purple Pores and skin with snow- white flesh
- Notably good for latkes
- A superb new potato; harvest early
- Tear drop formed fingerling formed
- Also called a Mandel or almond potato
- Nutty taste, good for roasting
- Russet – darkish brown leathery pores and skin
- Rectangular formed and good for baking
- Excessive in Vitamin C and Protein
- Yellow Flesh
- Waxy and dry texture makes good French fries
- Makes the very best mashed potatoes
Two different fascinating forms of potatoes which can be good for northern gardeners.
- Excessive yield and straightforward to develop
- Most resistant the late blight and least favourite of voles
- Yellow, small, stubby heritage fingerling potato
- Grown by Russian settlers
Notes on rising and making ready homegrown potatoes
- Retailer potatoes soiled, they may maintain longer
- Plant vegetation nearer collectively to withstand cracks
- Combine candy potatoes (that are higher for you) with common potatoes to extend diet.
- Potatoes with extra straight starches (amylose) might be floury – finest for sautéing, mashing or steaming
- A potato with extra branched starches (amylopectin) might be extra agency and waxy – finest for salads and boiled.
- Dry potatoes are finest for frying.
- Adirondack Purple, All blue, Carola and Butte can be planted for his or her fairly flowers
Candy Potatoes that may Develop within the North
Candy potatoes are tropical vegetation which can be illiberal to cooler temps they usually require longer interval of development (90-150 days to maturity) which may make them a problem within the north. However if you wish to give it attempt – these two varieties are your finest choices.
- Very candy, no extra sugar wanted
- Excessive yield and early to mature
- Has cracks and desiccations (which may be lower out when making ready)
- Nut and honey flavors
- White pores and skin and creamy coloured flesh
- Resists grubs and soil rot
Potato Texture Chart
|Amylose/ Amylopectin||Comfortable and Moist||Creamy and Mid-dry||Crumbly – Dry|
|Potatoes on this row have extra straight starches (amylose). This makes for a extra floury texture||Adirondack Purple, All Blue||Carola||Butte|
|Potatoes on this row have extra branched starches (amylopectin) for a extra waxy and agency potato that holds collectively||Caribe, Elba, Prairie Blush, Russian Banana, King Harry||Yukon gold|
The place to search out potato begins to develop in your backyard:
A wide range of potatoes (not together with sweets) can be found from Wooden Prairie Farm – www.woodprairie.com
Additionally discover seed potato varieties at
Excessive Mowing Seeds – www.highmowingseeds.com
The Maine Potato Girl – www.mainepotatolady.com
and Hudson Valley Seeds – www.hudsonvalleyseed.com
Steele Plant Firm LLC – www.sweetpotatoplant.com
Illustrated by: Samantha Dion Baker
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